Many people become devastated when it comes to public speaking and presentations, however, it is not as scary as you think it is. Public speaking is a great test for anyone who wants to become a salesperson or achieve better speaking performance. Speaking in front of the people will bring you many positive outcomes and will establish less fear when you talk to someone face-to-face. To start let’s discuss several reasons why you might be intimidated by the public speaking.
1. Firstly and mainly, people are usually afraid of public speaking because they are not used to speak in front of many people especially those who they haven’t seen before. This idea creates fears of not knowing what to expect from the crowd. Usually we tend to speak with several individuals in small groups, and not in front of many people.
2. Secondly, public speaking creates pressure for the speaker as he/she is beginning to feel that there is a high responsibility lying on their shoulders as they are the ones that everybody will be listening to for a specific amount of time. Speaker might encounter several ideas such as: is my information correct? Is everybody interested in what I’m saying? Do I look good and professional? And so on. Usually, it is our fears and thoughts that drive us away from thinking that we are doing something good therefore don’t be afraid, prepare well and you’ll be good to go!
3. Thirdly, feeling a little bit nervous before performing public speaking is normal! Everybody no matters how long they have been doing it feel a little bit nervous. It is a natural occurrence, we are always nervous in front of unknown and the crowd that you are presenting to is counted as your unknown at the moment of your speech. You are not sure how they will react therefore you tend to tense and become nervous.
In the next passage I’ll be explaining how to eliminate or limit to the max your nervousness and anxiety.
1. Prepare the Material. Before doing any public speaking PREPARE, PREPARE and PREPARE! Make sure you know your topic very well; you should also research and prepare possible questions that might pop up during your presentation. Just think of what your audience might be interested in. Place yourself in their place and try to identify what they might ask. You might be wrong, however what you’ll find is that you’ll prepare yourself in a better way and you’ll definitely expand your knowledge as it will take some time to research the questions you don’t know yourself.
2. Prepare the Speech. Prepare and practice the actual speech, by going over the main points, q-cards or presentation slides. You should be practicing your full speech at least 3 to 5 times to make sure everything sounds good and the way you want. You also should break down your speech into several small parts, practice them first and then move on to practicing your full speech. In addition, ask your colleagues, family members or anyone else who’ll be interested in helping you.
3. When practicing in front of your test audience, please be clear and patient. They might or might not know what you are talking about as well as they might not know the subject. Also, ask them to correct you at every moment that they feel they don’t understand or you don’t sound proper or professional. Ask them for the explanation on why they are stopping you and what is it that they don’t feel comfortable with. Please be patient as you should remember that it was you who’ve asked them for their help.
4. Manage the time. When practicing you should always check the time and see how long it takes you to finish specific parts of your presentation as well as the whole presentation itself. In addition, I’d like to point out that the sooner you’ll start preparing for your speech the better as you’ll have more time.
5. Make sure you are dressed professionally or appealing to the audience. Check you outfit several times before the actual speech, think whether you’ll be arriving dressed or you’ll dress before the speech.
6. Plan B! Prepare yourself for the worth to get the best results. Be sure to have q-cards and presentation point to make sure you are on the track! If you see that you are stuck try to ease the pause with a joke or a small story, you should have them in your sleeve just in case.
Now, you are ready to begin your practice. Remember that even the most advanced speakers always prepare for their speeches and they practice for quite some time before actually getting on the stage. Public speaking skills are skills that develop over time and you can shape them to perfection. There are of course people who are born with a talent of public speaking and they have to do minimum work to perform but still, they do their practice!